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An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

Theory and Applications of Coupled Cell Networks

Dynamical gain control for odor recognition in insect olfaction

Author: Ramon Huerta (UCSD)


Insect olfaction is known to use sparse activity in the odor recognition areas of the brain. Prior to this module for recognition purposes there is a first relay station that regulates, modulates and controls the flow of information into the recognition module. This first relay station is named the Antennal Lobe (AL). Here, we discuss a hypothesis about one of the possible functions of the AL, that is, to regulate the amount of activity delivered into the recognition module. We hypothesized that the regulation or gain control of the activity is effectively determined by specific inhibitory connectivity to both the excitatory and inhibitory population. We show that without this gain control condition the system is unable to carry out odor recognition.